Posts in category Entrepreneur

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Fewer deals and smaller checks: Startups suffered in Q1 as first-time financing fell 31%

While it’s never easy for entrepreneurs to convince venture capitalists to invest in their new companies, it was especially difficult during the first quarter of this year. Fewer startups received first-time funding, and those that were fortunate to do so saw smaller checks. For the first three months of 2016, initial funding deals declined 16 percent to 297, and the total […]

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ASO master class: Get up to 40K app downloads for free and other growth hacks (webinar)

VB WEBINAR: You could spend $10K to drive paid traffic and get some users — or you can growth-hack and land 40,000 downloads in just a few days. What’s the secret? Join top ASO gurus for this free half-hour master class in getting your app ranked, fast. Register here for free. “There’s this notion that you build […]

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‘Allumette’ proves that virtual reality cinema is no joke

Allumette, a lovely animated feature by Penrose Studios, illustrates why virtual reality film should be taken just as seriously as traditional film. The folks at Sundance and the Tribeca Film Festival have already figured this out — both festivals showcased virtual reality this year. But in such early days, the quality of each VR experience varies wildly from project […]

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Artificial intelligence startup DigitalGenius raises $4M to make customer service agents superhuman

VB INSIGHT: DigitalGenius is announcing a Human+AI customer service platform today with a $4.1 million seed investment. The platform integrates with existing customer service software suites — like Salesforce, ZenDesk, and Oracle — to automate the most repetitive parts of customer service through AI and machine learning-powered chat bots. The work to augmentative the process, while still keeping the […]

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Startup ecosystems around the world are getting mature enough to create more billion dollar unicorns

SPONSORED: While Silicon Valley remains the center of innovation and startup activity in the globe, other geographical markets are developing startup ecosystems in varying degrees of maturity. Comparing these bubbles of startup activity, it’s clear that more globally successful companies are coming out of Israel compared to any other geographical region apart from Silicon Valley.

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Shopify acquires Kit, the artificially intelligent marketing bot

We’re standing on the edge of the chatbot revolution, and I’m reminded of how I felt when those first apps hit the store in 2007. Only this time, the apps talk back. And following its announcement at Facebook’s F8 developer conference yesterday — where it became the first commerce platform to announce an integration with […]

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VCs raised billions in Q1 even as they made fewest investments in 3 years

ANALYSIS: At first blush, a review of venture capital dealmaking during the first quarter of 2016 suggests an industry gone mad. VC firms raised the highest amount of capital raised in more than decade, even as they made the lowest number of investments in three years. What gives? The Q1 2016 Venture Pulse Report issued today by CB Insights […]

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Mobile user acquisition fraud: Rovio and others share how to fight it (webinar)

VB WEBINAR: How do you combat user acquisition scams that are increasingly slick and nearly undetectable? Find out from the front line how pros are successfully combating mobile fraud. Access the webinar on demand right here. You’re spending up to $25 per high-quality user — but how many of them are real? User acquisition fraud has doubled since […]

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YapJobs raises $1.4 million to match job seekers with hospitality roles

YapJobs, an app which seeks to match jobseekers and employers in the hospitality sector in real-time, has raised £1 million (about $1.4 million) in funding. Investors in the round included Ziad Tassabehji, who invested in an angel capacity, and various other private investors. Shahzad Ali, CEO of YapJobs, spoke about the raise: “I grew up in […]

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3 key ways to improve your subscriber value (webinar)

VB WEBINAR: Guaranteed residual revenue through subscription models is hugely attractive and highly scalable — but missteps could lead to costly attrition and churn. Join Netflix Head of Payments Luis Vargas to learn how payment models factor into success and how to turn subscribers into the profitable customers you hanker for. Register here for free. Back in the day, a subscription […]

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Calling all entrepreneurs: France wants your help to build a strong economic future…and its wallet is open

SPONSORED: This sponsored post is produced in association with BPIFrance. Investing in companies these days can be pretty easy. You do some research into firms with a good potential for revenue and profit — maybe get a hot tip from a friend or relative — then find a broker and give them a few bucks to […]

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The big stay big: 35 unicorns raised $12.6 billion in Q1 2016

GUEST: In the first quarter of 2016, 35 unicorns raised a total of $12.6 billion from 36 funding events. While this is roughly the same amount that was raised in the first quarter of 2015, there were 58 investments in the previous period. This means that this year’s fundings were marked by larger deal sizes. Looking at the evolution of company valuations, […]

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Tesla Model 3 preorder frenzy should have Chevy Bolt EV green with envy

ANALYSIS: More than 325,000 potential buyers have put down $1,000 apiece for a Tesla Model 3 electric car that they won’t get for two years, if not considerably longer than that. Which must frustrate the electrification team at General Motors deeply. The 2017 Chevrolet Bolt EV with more than 200 miles of range and a starting […]

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Smarter funding: How to get the backing that best fits your startup

GUEST: When going from $0-10 million in sales, most tech entrepreneurs think there’s only one path to raise growth capital for their startups: selling equity in their business. It’s a model that has been reinforced by several decades of tech companies feeding on a steady diet of equity money. This equity model creates a cycle for […]

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What downturn? 11 companies became unicorns in Q1

With no IPOs taking place in the first quarter of 2016, much attention is now focused on unicorns. Will they be able to maintain their billion dollar valuations, or will they would be picked off one at a time, succumbing to valuation markdowns and volatile public markets? Even with a healthy resetting of many tech company valuations underway, eleven firms attained unicorn status […]

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Edge Retreats gets $1 million to simplify booking of luxury villas

Edge Retreats, a London-based tech startup specialising in luxury villas, has closed a $1m seed funding round led by VC fund Lean Investments. The round, which also drew support from the startup’s current investor Forward Partners, brings Edge Retreats’ total amount of funding raised to $1.4m. Speaking about the round’s closure, McCormick said: “After getting […]

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DeepstreamHub raises $1 million for real time app development platform

Berlin-based deepstreamHub, a platform for building real time apps, has closed a $1 million seed round from Blue Yard Capital to further develop its cloud platform for app developers. This marks the first investment for Berlin’s Blue Yard Capital, a new VC fund launched in January that raised $120 million to invest in early stage […]

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Email personalization: Don’t even think about improving conversion without it (webinar)

VB WEBINAR: With a 3800% ROI, email is your strongest channel — but you’ve got plenty of competition. Join top marketers as they discuss the personalization strategies that can dramatically increases open rates, CTR, and, mosts importantly, conversion. Register here for free. With a broad range of clients from Ford and Google to Heifer International and NYU Tisch […]

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Pinterest launches Promoted Pins internationally, starting with the U.K.

Visual bookmarking tool Pinterest is ramping up its ad business this week with the news that it’s finally expanding its Promoted Pins product internationally. First announced back in early 2014, Promoted Pins does exactly what its name suggests by letting businesses pay to have their Pins (products) placed front-and-center in people’s feed — it can […]

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IoT startup Kamarq raises $3.2M to manufacture ‘smart’ tables that play music

Kamarq Holdings is a startup to offer the high quality and connected furniture brand Kamarq. The company recently announced on Thursday that it has secured a total of about 350 million yen (about $3.2 million) from Energy & Environment Investment, Saison Ventures, iSGS Investment Works as well as angel investors. Saison Ventures is the investment arm […]

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Why did tech companies take a week to get behind Apple in the FBI standoff?

GUEST: In the midst of the Apple-FBI dispute over the San Bernardino shooter’s iPhone, countless tech companies took the rare step of publicizing views in “friends of the court” briefs, statements, and interviews. The sheer number, nearly 40, filing amicus briefs — Facebook, Google, Mozilla, and Microsoft, as well as my own company, AVG — is […]

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Mobile app analytics: How Grindr monetizes 6 million active users (webinar)

VB WEBINAR: What does it take to monetize over 2 million daily active users in 196 countries? Join Grindr CTO Lukas Sliwka and VB analyst Jon Cifuentes in a free webinar to get an inside scoop on how mobile app analytics solutions help you powerfully leverage critical user data. Register here for free. Grindr, the first and largest […]

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Machine Zone CEO was on employment benefits before founding the company behind Game of War

There’s a mythology to successful startup leaders, and part of it is that they can’t fail. We lionize successful entrepreneurs, and elevate those with multiple major successes to the status of minor deity: an Elon Musk, a Steve Jobs. But before the rise, there’s reality. For Gabe Leydon, that was unemployment. “I didn’t come from […]

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Startups on the cusp of success get major push at ECS

SPONSORED: In startup land, financing is getting harder. Valuation inflation is dissipating, and investors are demanding profitability, and fast. The pool of resources required to build a successful tech company is also larger than ever as the technology industry matures and the demand for vertical integration booms.

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European tech funding was almost flat in Q1 2016

ANALYSIS: The first quarter of 2016 has come to a close: European and Israeli startups raised €4.4 billion across 769 deals in Q1, including Spotify’s recent $1 billion debt round. European and Israeli tech startups have raised €4.4 billion (about $5.01 billion) in funding in the first quarter of 2016, across 769 deals. In both cases, […]

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BusinessEntrepreneurIliya RybchinInnovation

Stop ‘innovating’: Aim higher

GUEST: Whenever I hear or see the word “innovation,” a feeling of nausea washes over me. Unlike other cliché buzzwords (synergy, paradigm shift, value-add, etc.) that I have forced myself to accept, I’m afraid “innovation” is one I may never be able to stomach. The word is the corporate equivalent of Valleyspeak linguistic fillers such as […]

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